Toxic load adds to your weight load

Although high-calorie fast foods and soft drinks are easily available, and people spend more time participating in sedentary activities such as watching television or using a computer, these factors are insufficient to explain the huge increase in obesity observed during the 20th century. The often overlooked obesogenic chemicals likely play an important role in the obesity and diabetes pandemic. Studies dating back to the 1970s have shown that low-dose chemical exposures were associated with weight gain in experimental animals 1. Since then, a growing number of studies show links between toxins and weight gain, obesity and diabetes. Known or suspected culprits behind negative epigenetic changes include toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, plastic compounds including BPA, diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, hormones, radioactivity, viruses, bacteria and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

The main role of fat cells is to store energy and release it when needed. Scientists now know that fat tissue acts as an endocrine organ, releasing hormones related to appetite and metabolism. Research to date suggests that different obesogenic compounds may have different mechanisms of action, some affecting the number of fat cells, others the size of fat cells, and still others the hormones that affect appetite, satiety, food preferences, and energy metabolism. Another mechanism through which these chemical obesogens can contribute to weight gain is through their impact on the gut microbiome, linking gut ecology and environmental chemicals to obesity and diabetes 2.

BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical found in everything from plastic bottles to metal food containers may be partly to blame for excess weight. BPA has been shown to alter the body’s metabolism, increasing weight gain and making it difficult to lose weight. A number of studies have reported elevated levels of BPA in obese and overweight individuals 3. BPA levels have been related to obesity in US studies 4,5 and in the Chinese population 6. In both American and Chinese schoolchildren, urinary BPA levels were associated with BMI 7-11. In a study of 1,326 children, girls between ages nine and 12 with high BPA levels had double the risk of being obese compared to girls with low BPA levels, validating previous animal and human studies. The chemical can alter the body’s metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. Girls with high levels of BPA—two micrograms per liter or more—were two times more likely to be obese than girls with lower levels of BPA in the same age group. Girls with very high levels of BPA, more than 10 micrograms per liter, were five times more likely to be obese, the study shows 12. Urinary BPA in pregnant women was related to BMI in their offspring at four years of age 13. Similar results were found in girls aged nine years 14. The oestrogenic properties of bisphenol A (BPA) have been known since 1936 15.

BPA has been shown to induce obesity in rodents in experimental settings 16,17. In animal experiments, mothers’ exposure to BPA is producing the same outcomes that we see in humans born light at birth: an increase in abdominal fat and glucose intolerance. BPA was seen to affect rodent fat cells at very low doses—1,000 times below the dose that regulatory agencies presume causes no effect in humans, whereas at higher doses researchers saw no effect. Hormone receptors typically respond to very low levels of hormone, so it makes sense that they may be activated by low levels of an endocrine mimic, whereas high levels of a chemical may actually cause receptors to shut down altogether, preventing any further response 18.

Children exposed to certain chemicals, POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants), in the womb have a higher risk of being overweight. POPs include a wide variety of long-lasting chemicals that collect in fat and accumulate in wildlife and people. Some were made as pesticides, such as DDT, and others as electrical insulators including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). POPs can also act as endocrine disruptors and disrupt hormone function. The developing foetus is exposed to POPs passed from the mother through the placenta.

Several longitudinal birth cohort studies have examined how prenatal exposure to DDT (now banned in most countries) and DDE affects child growth. Positive associations between prenatal DDT and DDE exposure and body mass index and overweight status have been reported in birth cohorts in Europe 19 and in the United States 20,21. In a study of 344 children, both PCB and DDE exposure led to an increased risk of weight gain in children. The link between being overweight and PCB and DDE levels in cord blood was stronger in girls than boys. DDT was associated with weight gain only in boys, especially in children with average or above average fat intakes. In some cases, children with higher POPs exposure were almost twice as likely to be overweight compared to children with lower exposure, depending on the pollutant and gender 20. In a study of 6,770 subjects aged six to 19 years, a dose-dependent increase in obesity was observed in the groups with highest urinary concentrations of 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP) and reported a possible relationship between exposure to 2,5-DCP and obesity in children 22.

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that the use of certain organophosphate pesticides may also be associated with weight gain and diabetes risk 23.

Similar results of POPs have been found in animal experiments. Mice fed high-fat diets gained about 30% more weight and experienced raised blood sugar, compared to other mice eating the same high-fat diets, when they also ingested doses of a brominated flame retardant, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), which is used in building materials and insulation. It accumulates in the tissues of animals and humans, and previous animal studies have shown that it may disrupt hormones, metabolism and immune systems. Some evidence, mostly with lab animals, suggests that prenatal exposure to these obesogens can reprogram metabolism, leading to more fat cells and raising the risk of obesity later in life. The mice, which on average weighed 21 grams, were fed a high-fat diet with a high dose of flame retardant and gained an average of 21 grams. Mice fed the same diet without the chemical gained about 16 grams. That means that mice fed the extra flame retardant doubled their weight and put on around 25% more weight than the control group, and also had higher blood sugar and higher insulin levels than the unexposed mice. Their livers also weighed more and their adipose tissues were inflamed. Changes were also noted in the gene expression of their glucose transporters 24 HBCD is still used in large volumes.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a ubiquitous chemical, used in nonstick cookware, Gore-Tex™ waterproof clothing, Scotchgard™ stain repellent on carpeting and mattresses; it is a potential endocrine disruptor. When pregnant mice were given PFOA during pregnancy, their offspring became obese in adulthood, reaching significantly higher weight levels than controls. Exposed offspring also had elevated levels of leptin, a hormone secreted by adipose tissue that affects appetite and metabolism.

Pre- and postnatal exposure to Firemaster®550 (FM550) has been associated with increased anxiety, obesity, and early-onset puberty in rats. Researchers reported further evidence that components of FM550 may act as environmental obesogens, stimulating adipogenesis (fat formation) at the expense of bone health. House dust in the US contains high levels of organophosphate flame-retardants, and their metabolites are ubiquitous in human urine. The authors estimated that young children could ingest 120 μg/day TPP from indoor exposure to dust alone.

Phthalates are plasticizers that also have been related to obesity in humans and occur in many PVC items, as well as in scented items such as air fresheners, laundry products, personal care products and many plastics. Studies suggest that phthalates have significant effects on obesity, especially after prenatal exposure at low doses (BMI) in children and adults 25.

In early studies, tributyltin (TBT), commonly found in home anti-mould and dust mite treatments, was given to pregnant mice and resulted in heavier offspring; even if the offspring eat normal food, they get slightly fatter. Tributyltin can exert toxicity through multiple mechanisms but most recently has been shown to bind, activate, and mediate gene regulation central to lipid metabolism and adipocyte biology. In support of this, long-term obesogenic effects on whole body adipose tissue are also reported 26. In another animal experiment, exposure to TBT for 45 days resulted in obesity and hepatic steatosis and induced the occurrence of insulin and leptin resistance 27.

Arsenic in drinking water has been found to promote a number of diseases that may stem from dysfunctional adipose lipid and glucose metabolism. Arsenic inhibits adipocyte differentiation and promotes insulin resistance; it also alters gene signaling for aberrant lipid storage and metabolism that may contribute to the pathogenesis of metabolic disease caused by environmental arsenic exposures 28. Similarly, a study of environmental contaminants in 114 seven- to nine-year-old Flemish children found a negative association between cadmium and abdominal and subcutaneous fat 29.

In a study of hypertensive rats, researchers found that short-term exposure to air pollution, over a 10-week period, elevates blood pressure in rats already predisposed to the condition 30. Another animal study from the same group found that early exposure to ultrafine particulates led to the accumulation of abdominal fat and insulin resistance in mice even if they ate a normal diet 30. The study compared mice fed a high-fat diet with those fed a normal, healthy diet, and exposed some members of both groups daily to ultrafine particulate matter, controlling for all other factors. In the end, all of the mice exposed to air pollution, including those fed a normal diet, had increased abdominal and subcutaneous fat. These findings suggest that fine particulate pollution exposure alone, in the presence of a normal diet, may lead to an increase in fat cell size and number, and also have a proinflammatory effect.

Experimental results also suggest a high-fat diet may exacerbate the health effects of inhaled PM2.5; this means obese people may be at increased risk. Mice breathing PM2.5 and eating a high-fat diet developed IR, systemic inflammation, and increased abdominal fat, compared with mice eating the same diet but breathing filtered air 31. This mechanism directly ties a known inflammatory mechanism in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes to exposure to environmental air pollution; the inflammatory damage likely creates a vicious cycle that can also contribute to cardiovascular disease and obesity. In addition, studies have recently reported that small increases in urban ambient PM2.5 can decrease insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects 32, suggesting that PM2.5 may contribute to metabolic syndrome and to the progression from metabolic syndrome to diabetes.



  1. Holtcamp,. 2012.
  2. Snedeker, and Hay. 2011
  3. Geens et al. 2015,
  4. Lang et al. 2008  
  5. Shankar et al. 2012
  6. Wang et al. 2012b
  7. Trasande et al. 2012;
  8. Wang et al. 2012a;
  9. Bhandari et al. 2013;
  10. Harley et al. 2013; 
  11. Li et al. 2013
  12. Journal of the American Medical Association.2012,
  13. Valvi et al. 2013
  14. Harley et al. 2013
  15. Dodds 1936
  16. Miyawaki et al. 2007;
  17. Somm et al. 2009
  18. Tang-Peronard et al. 2011
  19. Delvaux et al. 2014
  20. Valvi, D.et al, 2011
  21. Warner et al. 2014.
  22. Twum and Wei. Volume 26, Issue 3, Pages 215–219
  23. Starling et al. 2014.
  24. Yanagisawa et al. Environ Health Perspect.
  25. Kim and Park 2014.
  26. Grun 2014.
  27. Zhenghong Zuo et al. 2011
  28. Garciafigueroa et al. 2013.
  29. Delvaux et al. 2014
  30. Rajagopalan. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. December
  31. Environ Health Perspect. DOI:10.1289/ehp.122-A29,
  32. Brook et al. 2013








Probiotics and the Immune System 

The gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota, or the gut probiotics as they are more commonly known, are the collection of microbes which live in our gut, essential for digestion, healthy metabolism as well as playing a crucial role in the development of our immune system. Our probiotics function as a major immunological organ and along with the gastrointestinal tract constitute about seventy percent of the immune system. If probiotic balance is disrupted, termed dysbiosis; harmful inflammation, autoimmunity and altered immune function occurs along with an increased risk of disease. In this state, the intestinal tract is particularly vulnerable to chronic conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Studies have also found links to systemic conditions such as obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes and many more highlighting the growing importance of GI microbiota to human health. Below the importance of probiotic supplementation in defending the GI microbiota from dysbiois will be shown.

The traditional belief was that the composition of GI microbiota was relatively stable from early childhood. However, overwhelming new evidence shows that diet, environmental and lifestyle factors such as stress can induce dysbiosis in GI microbiota. This was shown in studies on mice where diet was found to account for 57% of structural deviation in GI microbiota, with genetic difference only accounting for 12%. These findings further highlight the dominating role of diet in shaping GI microbiota. For example, the “Western” diet has been shown to induce dysbiois. Diets rich in complex carbohydrates show less pathogenic species than diets higher in fat or protein. Refined sugars, on the other hand, mediate the overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria and mould species.

A number of new studies have shown a positive effect of probiotic supplementation on immune health including allergies, prevention of respiratory disease and diarrhoea, particularly in children. In a study of 251 children supplementing with probiotics for 20 weeks resulted in fewer days with respiratory disorders as well as gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain and constipation) disorders, lower respiratory tract infections (32% vs. 49%) and fatigue (3% vs. 13%) in the probiotic group compared to placebo. In a review of 14 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) supplementing with probiotics had a positive effect both in diminishing the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections and the severity of the infection symptoms. While another review reported probiotics reduce the duration of illness in otherwise healthy children and adults.

Endurance athletes undergoing strenuous training are more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), believed to be due to the role of strenuous exercise in suppressing the immune system. In one study the number of days of symptoms of URTI was halved when the athletes took the probiotic, compared to placebo. The severity of the symptoms was also less when consuming probiotics.

Supplementing with probiotics has also been shown to be beneficial in reducing the incidence and severity of allergy symptoms. Changes in the composition of intestinal microflora play a central role in the development of allergic diseases. An Australian review with data covering over 2,000 infants from eight studies, concluded that supplementing with probiotics helps prevent eczema, other allergic diseases and food reactions in infants who might be susceptible, and showed benefits for a range of allergic diseases. They reported that probiotics helps prevent eczema in infants and one study suggested this benefit might last up to four years of age.

In Australia, Cow’s Milk Allergy (CMA) is the most common food allergy in children and is responsible for more than 40% of food-induced anaphylaxis in the childhood population. An increasing amount of evidence suggests the role of probiotics in prevention or treatment of CMA. In one study administration of probiotics to food-allergic children (age <2 years) improved the eczema and studies in infants with eczema who received probiotics showed benefits in decreasing gastrointestinal symptoms. Another study showed the benefits of supplementing with probiotics to reduce the symptoms of pollen allergy. In a study of approximately 200 mothers and their infants, expecting mothers taking probiotic supplements passed on immune benefits through the breast milk to the baby. Half of the mothers received probiotic supplements for four weeks prior to birth of their babies and these babies then receive the probiotics during the first year of life.



21 steps to reduce weight and keep it off for good

If you read my recent blogs and Facebook posts you will see I have been researching dieting and weight loss. In fact one of my last posts was titled “Don’t Diet”, where I discussed why they don’t work. I suggest you have a look at it; http://www.drdingle.com/blog/2015/2/4/dont-diet.html. So what do we do?

Rather than wait until my next book “Unlock your genes for healthy weight control” is out on the shelves in July but I would rather get you started now. This is a review of over one thousand studies to do with weight loss. It is not a diet, but a lifestyle program which is proven to be far more effective.


Here are some steps to get you started:

1. Set your realistic goal for weight loss (e.g. 1/2 to 1 kg per week, I will be xx kg on July 1, 2015).

2. Find the positive people in your life to support you (get rid of the negative ones). You will need help.

3. Make a list of all the blessings in your life.

4. Don’t exercise just walk more and be more active. Walk, walk, and walk.

5. Don’t sit down for more than 60 minutes at a time.

6. Stand up for 30 minutes or go for a light stroll after each meal (not a heavy workout).

7. Eat slowly and consciously and breathe between each mouthful.

8. Get a smaller plate. Big portion sizes are a big contributor to the waistline.

9. Don’t count calories count nutrition. Nutrition will activate your genes to increase metabolism and decrease hunger sensations.

10. Substitute cereals and grains (bread, pasta etc.) for high protein plant based foods.

11. Have breakfast and don’t eat late at night.

12. Have a vegetable smoothie with linseed, nuts and plants every day, at least one.

13. Snack between meal on fruit, nuts, vegetables, last night’s leftovers or other healthy snacks.

14. Supplement with high grade nutrients. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3 oils.

15. Supplement with super probiotics (see my blog) http://www.drdingle.com/blog/2015/2/5/probiotics-for-weight-loss.html.

16. Eat less meat and more plant based protein.

17. Drink lots of purified ionised and mineralised water. Take out the fluoride and chlorine bat add back the life to the water.

18. Don’t shop when you are hungry.

19. Detox your body and the chemicals in your home. They help you hold the weight on and make you sluggish.

20. Don’t have the junk in your pantry! Have readily available nutritious food instead and remove the will power element!

21. Learn to love and respect yourself.


Good luck but you don’t need it.

If you want to learn much more come along to my optimal health day: http://tix.yt/optimalhealth.




Putting the "new" back in the news

I think it was Mark Twain who said something like:

“the only thing you can believe in the paper is the price and the name”.


I have been a big critic of the news over the past decade. The news as we know it not just one sided, it is outright full of lies. The public have an expectation that research, as well as news coverage, will be reliable and come from trustworthy sources. In the case of health, people depend on these reports for information on health, medicines and medical treatments. However, my own experience and the scientific literature suggest that this is simply not the way it is.

One small but significant example occurred in September of 2009, I spent 30 minutes on the telephone with a journalist for Reader’s Digest explaining what I know about statins and cholesterol. The reporter sounded interested and intrigued, so I sent a couple of chapters of my book via email along with some scientific papers verifying my explanations. In November of the same year, I read an extensive article in Reader’s Digest with not a mention of the controversy, the lack of evidence or any of the topics I had raised. The title describes it all: “The New Wonder Drug: Should We All Be on It?” [1]The drug was described as something almost everyone should be taking. I could not believe it and I could not understand how someone purporting to be an investigative journalist could write such a one-sided article.

The media have, by and large, become the public relations machine behind the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Whether for reasons of time scarcity, poor research skills or vested interests, the result is the same: they get a free ride.

Most readers probably do not know that many newspapers “report” straight from the pharmaceutical PR machine, reprinting press releases verbatim without any scrutiny or investigation.[2] How many times have you heard of a “miracle drug” yet still more people die from diseases the drug is supposed to treat? Perhaps even worse, you may remember the H1N1 (“swine flu”) pandemic of 2009. Thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people were supposed to die. Pharmaceutical sales went through the roof, as did the shares for the vaccine companies. The media message was: it did not matter where you were… the H1N1 virus was going to get you. Fortunately it was a pharmaceutical company hoax propagated by the unquestioning media. In fact, 2009 proved to be a very mild flu year. Subsequently there have been lots of government investigations around the world as to why H1N1 was played up by “experts” (most with ties to the pharmaceutical companies) and the media. A recent study in Canada found that those vaccinated for the flu in 2009 had an increased rate of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) (pH1N1) illness the following year.[3] That is, if you got the flu injection you were more likely to get the pandemic influenza A (swine flu) the following year. But this study did not seem to make it into the media.


In June/ July of 2010 I was harassed and chased down the street by the media. What should have been a personal matter, a coronial inquest into the death of my former wife and a matter that ultimately had no negative findings against me became a media circus. It was front page of the Western Australian newspaper and stayed in the media for more than 4 weeks. I had media camping outside my home. At the same time a case involving “Dr Death” over in Queensland when around 4 people were killed, 20 or so seriously maimed and hundreds injured by a medical practitioner got around 5% of the attention I had. Hundreds of Australians and thousands of Americans die every year from the incorrect medication. Why was the focus on me. Why did it get so much attention, ridiculous amounts by anyones estimates, and why was the smear campaign run against me?

It is time we took a different approach. Visit the link below to the Alternative News Project. An initiative of a friend of mine.

Time to change the world one click at a time.



1. Reader's Digest (undated). "Statins: The new wonder drug." Reader's Digest, from http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/statins-the-new-wonder-drugs/article16183.html.

2. Koren, G. (1991). "Bias against negative studies in newspaper reports of medical research." Journal of American Medical Association 266: 1824-1826.

3. Skowronski, D.M., G. De Serres, et al. (2010) Association between the 2008-09 seasonal influenza vaccine and pandemic H1Ni illness during spring-summer 2009: Four observational studies from Canada. PLoS Medicine 7, e1000258 DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000258.



20 Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

Recent studies have shown the lifetime risk of cancer increased from 38.5% for men born in 1930 to 53.5% for men born in 1960. For women it has increased from 36.7 to 47.5% and over half of people who are currently adults under the age of 65 years will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. Despite the hype cancer survival rates have not significantly improved. If this is of concern to you here are 18 things you can do to significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Don’t be overwhelmed by this list, just do it one or two steps at a time.

I also hear some people saying that these are inconvenient. My answer to this – they are not inconvenient when compared to cancer, being in hospital or dying.

  1. Don’t smoke
  2. Cut down your alcohol to below 1 glass of wine a day
  3. Cut out processed sugar in your diet
  4. Eat more fruit and vegetables
  5. Eat more raw food
  6. Eat less processed food (including breads and cereals)
  7. Eat less meat and dairy
  8. Supplement with high quality mineral, multivitamin antioxidants, omega 3 and powerful probiotics
  9. Reduce your exposure to toxins in you food, water and air particularly in your home
  10. Only use safer skin care, cosmetics and personal care products on your skin
  11. Manage your stress and learn to meditate and breath more deeply
  12. Enjoy life more and become more positive
  13. Find the gratitude in all the things you do each day
  14. Nurture your friends and social contacts
  15. Walk more
  16. Get out and expose your skin to the sun every day
  17. Cut down your medication
  18. Spend more time learning about your health
  19. Get more sleep
  20. Maintain a healthy weight